Friday 23 May 2003

By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex

Baby deaths run in family, says accused mother
The mother accused of killing three of her four babies
told a jury that there is a history of cot death in her
Trupti Patel spoke of how she had found out after losing her first
child that her maternal grandmother had had a similar experience,
losing five of her 12 children in the first two months.
Speaking at Reading crown court she said that she had done
everything she could to try to keep her babies alive.
Source:- The Times Friday 23 May page 3

ID cards for all in battle to track

The government yesterday announced that it plans to legislate in
the next session of parliament for a national identity card for all
adults in Britain.
The announcement coincided with the release of home office figures
showing a large decrease in the number of asylum applications in
the first three months of the year. Although the cards will be
voluntary it will be difficult for citizens to get healthcare and
education without them.
The cards would also be used to curb illegal working in the black
economy. The high level of opportunities to work illegally was
identified as one of the attractions for illegal migrants and
asylum seekers to come to Britain.
Source:- The Times Friday May 23 page 4

Tories cry foul as asylum figures fall to 4-year

New home office figures released yesterday show that asylum
applications fell by one third in the first three months of the
year with figures for February and March being the lowest in four
The figures show that 16,000 people claimed asylum in the first
quarter of the year, compared with 23,300 in the last quarter of
The Conservatives suggested that the figures had been manipulated.
Home secretary David Blunkett responded by saying that if the
Tories continued to accuse the government of lying then he would
publicly call them liars and he would welcome them try to sue
Source:- The Times Friday May 23 page 4

Doubts over Blair’s asylum ‘triumph’
The Prime Minster has been accused of omitting crucial detail on
the reason behind the 32 per cent drop in asylum seekers arriving
in the first three months of the year.
Critics said that the drop could be the result of thousands of
illegal immigrants, who might have claimed asylum, being driven
underground due to the crackdown on false benefit claims.
The drop in asylum seekers coincides with new rules ending benefit
for those who apply for asylum once inside the UK rather than as
soon as they enter.
Source:- Daily Mail Friday 23 May page 7

National plan that only fuels the fire
Continuing a major investigation into the criminal justice system
Nick Davies exposes the problems of prohibition – which has seen
the government accidentally encourage drug-related crime and
distort its treatment strategy
Source:- The Guardian Friday 23 May page 4

Five plans autism drama
Channel Five is to produce a 90-minute drama about the alleged link
between the MMR vaccine and autism.
Juliet Stevenson will play the lead character in ‘Hear the Silence’
that is set to cost £1 million and be screened in the
Hugh Boneville will play Andrew Wakefield, the doctor who made the
public aware of the alleged link between the vaccine and autism in
Source:- The Guardian Friday 23 May page 13

Timing was key to asylum figures cut
The new asylum figures published yesterday show that the government
has reached Tony Blair’s target of halving monthly asylum
applications six months ahead of schedule, but the government is
guilty of setting itself a target that was easier to reach than it
first seemed.
The home office picked last October as a base month, just before
the new asylum legislation reached the statute book, when the
monthly figure was at an artificial all-time high of 8,900
Compared with the high October total the monthly average was much
lower at 6,500-7,000 during the whole of 2002.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 23 May page 8

Scottish newspapers

Police primed as serial sex offender freed
One of the most feared sex offenders in the UK is to be
released today from Cork prison after serving two years for armed
A notice has been circulated to all British and Irish police
warning that John Cronin is to be released, and of the imminent
threat he poses.
It is thought that Cronin will return to his parents home in
Tranent, East Lothian, but there is no guarantee he will return
there immediately.
Source:- The Scotsman Friday 23 May page 1

Crackdown on anti-social behaviour top priority for

First minister Jack McConnell pledged to make tackling anti-social
behaviour his main priority in the first year of his new
McConnell said Scots were “sick and tired” of seeing
their local areas “dragged down” by crime and disorder
ranging from graffiti to damaged cars and physical attacks.
The first minister is expected to tell parliament next Wednesday of
his plans for an anti-social behaviour bill, which would include
more anti-social behaviour orders for youngsters, and more
“parenting orders” to make parents more accountable for
their children’s actions.
Source:- The Scotsman Friday 23 May page 9

Nurseries shut down as workers strike
Nurseries in Edinburgh were forced to close yesterday as
around 200 nursery nurses joined a strike in the city centre in
dispute over pay and conditions.
Public sector union Unison has been campaigning for two years for a
review of pay and status for nursery nurses claiming there has not
been one for 15 years.
Source:- The Scotsman  Friday 23 May

Welsh newspapers

Hospitals failing on hygiene standard

Over two-thirds of Welsh hospitals are failing to match up to
cleanliness standards, a new report has revealed.
The Auditor General’s survey, which has been passed to
members of the Welsh Assembly’s audit committee, says 12 out
of 17 major hospitals in Wales do not have plans in place to show
how wards should be cleaned.

Source:- Western Mail Friday 23 May page 1

Pupil’s text schoolfriends to foil police
crackdown on city’s truants

Pupil’s text messaging warnings to one another caused a
citywide anti truancy campaign to collapse, yesterday.
The children outwitted teachers, police and council chiefs in
Swansea, where a planned clampdown on truants was frustrated by
children who were attending schools in the area sending messages
alerting friends to the planned round-up.

Source:- Western Mail Friday 23 May page 1

Swansea struggling to provide care for Aids

Services for patients with HIV/Aids in Swansea are inadequate to
cope with the increasing numbers, according to a report on the
clinical service strategy.
There are also significant deficiencies when it comes to meeting
minimum standards for cancer care.
The key shortfalls are identified in a report from Andrew Bellamy,
Swansea NHS director of strategy and modernisation.

Source:- Western Mail Friday 23 May page 5

Patient’s suicide aided by neglect

The family of a woman psychiatric patient, who killed herself,
have expressed relief that the findings of an inquest have
supported their claims that neglect may have contributed to her
Rebecca Hill was found dead in a bathroom at St David’s
Hospital in Carmarthen 18 months ago. She had a history of
depression and on the night she died had been drinking vodka. In
the last hour of her life she had alarmed nursing staff three times
by making preparations for a suicide bid.

Source:- Western Mail Friday 23 May page 10

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